From 12 to 18 Months - Nutrition

Pregnancy and Beyond

At this age you may notice dramatic drop in your baby's appetite. This will continue for a year or two and is entirely normal. Babies usually gain only five or six pounds in the second year, so you shouldn't worry if your baby seems to be eating less.

Changes in eating habits also indicate your baby's increasing independence. She may now show definite likes and dislikes. If your baby doesn't like a particular food, don't force her to eat. Let her eat as much or as little as she wants.

This is a good time to begin offering a variety of healthy foods and letting her choose. Select daily servings from each of the following five basic food groups:

By her first birthday, your baby will probably be taking milk from a cup at mealtimes. She will also have been finger feeding for several months. Now is the time to let her experiment with a spoon. Be prepared for a lot of messy fun.

The following suggestions may help you avoid or deal with feeding problems:

Babies learn the most about food by watching their parents and other children. Improving food and nutrition habits for all family members is the best way to pass on good habits to the younger ones.